Friday, August 26, 2011

You've come a long way baby.....

I found inspiration this morning.  I did not get her name.  I was out for a run, with about a mile left, and I saw her.  She was roughly 5 ft 5 and weighed easily 250 plus.  She was walking to her ipod and really working hard.  I gave her a high five and told her "Great job".. She smiled and said the same.  I have seen her around the neighborhood before today. She doesn't know it, but she is my inspiration.

I am the blonde  2005.  About 220

Upon seeing her I immediately went back to how I felt when I was obese. It left me with chills.  At 5 ft 4 and 3/4 I used to weigh in at 220.  I am pretty sure that qualified me as obese.  I remember how much my body hurt, how many tears I cried , and how I just wanted to be my old self again.  I would have done ANYTHING to weigh the 125 I weighed when I married in 1999.

May 2011  Weighing 147!!!!


I am living proof that it can be done.  If you have some motivation and inspiration you can do a lot.  Your starting point is just that.  The next time I see her I will get her name , her story, and see if she would like a walking buddy.  I will also tell her that even though I only had a mile left, I tacked on another one because she inspired me to.  Wohooooo  I got in 6 miles today.  My longest run this year!

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Goblin Shreds Lost Valley

Since being fired on Monday, I have been spending  time with my " two- wheeled therapist's".  After enjoying two days on the road, I took the Goblin out for some dirt.   A couple of my  rides  where not as good as they could have been.  Through no fault of the bike. My fault entirely.  I had a rough time dealing with the 100 degree heat and I bonked.

Wednesday was a beautiful day for the Goblin to take on Lost Valley.  A short 15 minute drive and I was on a magnificent trail all by myself.  I saw a few runners leaving , but did not see another human.  I was excited to practice gears and get a better feel for the new fella in the stable.  I have a 24 hr race, two 12 hr races and a 60 miler left to my season.  I would like to use this bike, but need some more on time on it.  Now, all I have is time.

Basking in the sun 

I love the descent into LV, in fact, I used to be terrified of it.  But,  once I saw I could make it pedaling down and still stay upright, I  hammer down it every time.  I take the climb up the middle, which was easy riding the Goblin. I think Airborne should have called it the Goat.  Might be hard to sell.  Once I reached the " new stuff"  I was comfortable and just let the bike flow.  Being familiar with the trail I started to go faster than I normally do.  Primarily a single speeder I don't get the chance to hammer 20 mph plus thru the flats.  Today was a different story all- together. As the first lap ticked off, I got a little full of myself with my new found speed.  I almost lost it several times, but have no flesh wounds.

Awesome 'shroom

I headed out for the second lap and was a bit more conservative since I was still alone.  I was enjoying myself and just flying along one of the flat sections, when I looked up to see a squirrel in the middle of the trail.  I thought he would move.  He didn't. I ran over his tail and he made the oddest sound.  I can't duplicate it but will always remember it.

I am still figuring out the gears, but can tell I have gotten much better. practice makes perfect right?

 It's dirty!  No trail was harmed.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting Fired

On Monday I will lose my job.  It's okay. I knew this day was coming.  I have been preparing  for this  for a long time.   I just didn't think it would be here so quick.   I enjoyed my job.  Every day was different from the last.  Some days were more fun than others, but all in all, I loved my job. My day would start early, end late and there was a ton of overtime. I didn't make very much money.  In fact, I never got a paycheck.  I never complained, well not loudly enough to be heard.  Ha Ha

  I have been a stay at home Mom since Feb. 15 2006.  I was in the restaurant biz for over 20 years.  Worked every position.  Serving and tending bar were my faves.  I made great $$$$.  There's only one problem..... I can't go back.  I would not last a day, probably not an hour.  I served and over-served people on a daily basis.  Mostly shit-food.  I made people fat and fatter.  I just can't do that anymore.  Plus, I wouldn't be able to ignore the young fellas talking right to my chest.  Yup, that happened a lot.

I am on a journey to find a healthy job.  I know they are out there, but not sure where to look yet.  I would like a non-smoking, positive, and  energetic environment .  If that's not asking too much.  I have lots of passion and want to be around others who do.  No drama, no bullsh*t, and no whining.  If I am surrounded by like- minded folks I will be happy. I am anxious to see what's out there, however,  I am not in any hurry to find this needle in a hay-stack.  Jim has already informed me several times that there is no hurry.  Plus, I have plenty of things to keep me busy around the house.  I see a lot of painting in my future. UGH!

I have signed up for a writing class that starts the end of August.  It will be my first time in a class since 1987.  It's not supposed to be an intimidating class. As with all things, I'll let you know.  I have really enjoyed writing throughout  my life.  Often thought of writing a book.  Maybe this class will help me to write better and open another door.  Who knows, maybe BIKE Magazine will come knocking someday. Hmmm, like my own column for ladies over 40????  Dream a little with me.

Kindergarten Orientation

On Monday Sydney officially starts Kindergarten.  I am very excited for her, but also feel like I am going to throw up in my mouth.  I know that she is more than ready to go. She will even be riding the bus.  And I will be right behind on my bike.  Only for a couple days. How else can I see how this fella Mr. Mike drives?  He is carrying some very precious cargo, not to be taken lightly.  It's almost 3 miles to school. A lot can happen.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

First Run

Almost 23 years ago, a nurse handed me my son and I was afraid I would break him.  I remember being very careful when I held him, like he was fragile glass.  I had no idea what he would be capable of.  I knew this was going to be a tough journey for him, but I wanted to make it as easy as possible.  I know God knew what He was doing when He gave me Trevor.  I just hoped He was right.  Trevor endured a 7+ hour surgery at Shriner's Hospital, having his legs removed from above the knee.  I was a huge runner back then and used running as my way of dealing with life.  It was not easy, but here we are, almost 23 yrs later.

Not one person could have told me back then what my son would be capable of.  I apparently " won the lottery", so to speak, since his condition did not even have a name back then.  I remember taking it day by day and NEVER told Trev that he could not do anything.  We wanted him to find his way himself and learn what he could and could not do on his own.  He has definitely surprised me by going after life and learning how to do things most of us take for granted.
Half man-Half machine
On Tues night, I got to run with him fro the first time.  I probably should have NOT done a 20 mile ride before, but I have to take my rides when I can get them.  It was a cool evening, which is better for both of us.  Trevor's legs are held on by suction, so when it's hot, he has a potential to throw one.  Not a good thing.  We set off from the house and intended to run 2 miles.

Trevor started the pace, damn he is faast.  I will need to pick up the pace.  He made it look so easy.  He was running without any effort at all it seemed. He wasn't even breathing hard.  After mile 1, I slowed down a bit and started to watch him from behind.  I noticed he wasn't lifting his left leg as much as his right.  I asked him if he was compensating his left side a little.  He said Yes  and how did I know that.  After my explanation we talked about videoing his runs so he could get a better idea of what I was referring to. It would help him a lot to see his form and could him improve on it.

Mile 2 was hard for me.  My legs were not used to running as fast as this, Trevor was about 15 seconds  ahead by this point.  As we were in the home stretch I watched him fall. HARD.  I was not close enough to see what had caused it, but as I reached the spot, I saw a lot of cracked pavement.  He was not hurt and just shook it off.  Standing back  while watching him fall brought back several bittersweet memories.  When I was teaching him to walk on his first set of prosthetic's he fell a lot.  I was told to stand back, with no emotion, and let him get back up by himself.  Still brings tears to my eyes.  I  know it was the best thing to do now, but that doesn't change how it felt then.

We finished our run in less than 18 minutes.  Both of us in one piece and no blood.  I look forward to doing may more of these runs with him, or behind him, as the case may be.  We are going to do this together in Oct.  As together as we can!

*** If you read this, you can see what we are working on next. It's going to be a busy end to summer ***

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

An Education Or An A$$kickin'

Yesterday was a beautiful day for a ride. Limited on time, I headed out with my cross-bike .  I chose some hills, stayed in the big ring and pedaled.  My legs felt great and very strong.  Is this a pay-off from the running?  All smiles with 4 miles until home, an inconsiderate young male driver made a huge faux-pas right in front of me.  I was rolling along about 18mph as he chose to accelerate into a parking lot and cut me off.  I clearly had the right of way, as other motorists honked at him and shot him some looks that kill.  I slammed on my brakes, as well as you can slam on cantilever's, and yelled " What are you doing?"  As I pedaled a few more feet I was engulfed with rage.That's it!  I was ready to rip this guys head off.  How could he do that to me?  Who did he think he was?  I was going to teach this guy a lesson.  I took a quick right that lead behind the strip mall.  I would find him in the lot and give him an ass kickin'.

He ALMOST hit me!  He COULD have injured me! He COULD have killed me! Lucky for both of us, I was paying attention.  I know he saw me, He looked right at me while he pushed on the pedal.  He did not even look back as I almost flung myself over the bars trying to stop  Normally, I would never go after someone, especially a male.  In this situation I felt safe.  It was a very busy parking lot and there were many shoppers milling about.

As I passed the last building I scanned the lot. I spotted him.  He had no idea I was coming after him.  I was his worst nightmare right now. I was going to make damn sure he NEVER put a cyclist in harms way again.  He was reaching for the door, to return to work at JC Penney's, when I said, " Hey, you could have killed me!"  The look on his face was priceless, shock and confusion. A true WTF expression. He's right where I want him.  Now, do I deliver the ass kickin' or give him an education?  I hopped off my bike and walked towards him.  He let go of the door.  I quickly sized him up.  I could take him if necessary. Looking around, I realized that there were other people about  to witness this. I undid my helmet.

 He was early 20's, maybe he didn't know any better?  His eyes showed he was truly sorry, even before he said " I am so sorry ma'am. My bad."  Ya think!   I explained that I could not stop on a dime, like his car, and if either of us had been going any faster/slower I would have made an ugly hood ornament. He would be on his way to jail.  I told him I ride because I love it and it keeps me healthy. I said I have to follow all the rules of the road and so does he.  I  informed him that I have a 5yr old girl at home waiting for me. [ I hoped to show him that it may be someone's Mom or Dad  on the bike.]  He apologized several more times. I asked him to slow down and please watch out for other cyclists like me.  Share the road!

I know, I should have given him the ass kickin' huh?  It took me about a minute to ride behind the strip mall. I experienced several emotions as my heart beat out of my chest.  As I rounded the last building, my voice of reason said, " if you attack him, in any way, you  are no better than he is. " There are so many negative stories of cyclists and motorists.  I did not need to create another one.  My initial reaction proves I am human.  It wasn't right, but I believe I handled it correctly in the end.  Thank God for the whisper in my ear.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Running with the Devil

I used to be a runner.  I used to run everyday before work and also sometimes  after work.  I was one of those " obsessed " runners always chasing the runner high.  I did many road races in my day, everything from 5k to completing 6 full marathons.  Running was my escape from the world.  In 2000 I was hurt at work and tore all my ligaments off my ankle.  All running came to a screeching halt.  Surgery and physical therapy for over a year followed.  I was told I would never be able to run again.  The stress of running on my ankle would be tremendous so I stopped running.  I quit.

Not being able to  run was very painful for me and my family.  I ate to feel better and put on almost 100lbs in 2 years time.  I wish I had been introduced to cycling back then.  I tried to run, many times, but failed miserably.   At 200lbs I was not very light on my feet and felt I couldn't do it.   I gave up and ate some more.  I am so glad that person does not exist anymore.

Fast forward to 2007.  My husband wanted to do the Castlewood 8HR adventure race.  I had began mountain biking  about 2 months prior.  I started running again and it was real painful at first, but as the weeks passed, I forgot about the pain.  I really wanted to do this race.  Jim and I took 2nd coed in our first race! From that moment, I told myself that I would learn to deal with being uncomfortable and never let it stop me again.  And it hasn't.   Here's proof

 However, being able to ride a bike for many hours and put in insane mileage does NOT mean sh*t when you are running.  When I first started 3 weeks ago, I found this fact out quickly.  I realized there is no coasting to catch my breath either.   I found a pace I could handle in the early morning heat  and stayed with it for 2 miles.  Sounds lame, I know.  But, you have to start somewhere.  I am currently up to 3 mile runs with plans to go further.  Much further.  I promised my boy that I would do this with him in Oct.  How amazing will it be to stand at the start/ finish with him?  I would never have guessed I would be given this opportunity.   I  hope I can keep up.

With all of this running I am doing, I think some cross races are definitely in order. I  hope some of the running fitness also helps on the bike.  I have a 12hr race and a 24 hr race in Sept..  Stay tuned to see how that plays out....

Monday, August 1, 2011

Happy Monday

Happy Monday!  Did we all have a nice weekend? I planned a nice weekend, but.... you know how that goes. On Sat, I headed out to Lost Valley , Goblin in tow.  I was looking forward to riding with  a couple of  "girl's over 40" , since I am usually a solo rider. Mother Nature obviously did not approve.  While I was waiting for them I received texts and calls that  rain was headed my way. They wouldn't be coming.  Lots of rain and lightning showed up 5 minutes later.  What a cruel day.    Maybe I will get a rain-check, no pun intended.

Today is a great day to check out this blog. Why, you may ask?  Because, I wrote it.  Greg is vacationing in Colorado and invited several blogger's to write a guest blog.  I am very excited mine was chosen for today.  Leave a comment and let Greg know you were there . { And that my write- up didn't suck.} Greg has started a column on Thrifty Thrashing, giving mountain biker's tips on how to save $$$ and how to  pick your battles .I love the last post, Tip #4. That is exactly how we do things.  Ride it until it falls apart.  But, I would NEVER race that way.  New to semi-new tires are necessary for racin'.

Greg's blog is very organized, so you can find a specific post rather quickly. You can become a follower while you are there by clicking on the ' join this site ' tab on the right. He has posts for beginner's, everything from learning to shift  to washing your bike.  Lot's of great info from an experienced mountain biker.   He does gear reviews and writes for  Greg is on FaceBook ,under  Greg Rides Trails page, so go there and " like it ". All the cool kid's have.  Like I said earlier, he is in Colorado and is sure to post some amazing pictures, video,  and include some stories about riding his Goblin out there.